Sheila Gilmore – Penning is pinned: no excuses for ducking the mandatory reconsideration debate

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Press Release: MP sends Minister speech before debate on ‘Fit for Work’ test.

  • Debate on Work Capability Assessment Mandatory Reconsideration Delays at 10.00pm on Monday 16 June 2014
  • Sheila Gilmore’s speech sent to Minister responsible this afternoon
  • Minister can have no excuses for not answering questions

In advance of a debate on the Government’s controversial ‘Fit for Work’ test, Work and Pensions Select Committee member Sheila Gilmore today took the unusual step of emailing an advance copy of her speech to the Minister due to respond, Mike Penning.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) provides support for people who cannot work due to a health condition or disability, but since it replaced Incapacity Benefit in 2008, many people have been incorrectly assessed as fit for work and refused benefit. A new two-part appeals process was introduced in October 2013, with claimants’ cases first having to go through ‘mandatory reconsideration’ by a DWP official before reaching a judge.

Sheila Gilmore said:

Today I have taken the unusual step of emailing a copy of my speech for an upcoming debate to Mike Penning, the Minister due to speak for the Government. Now he can have no excuse for not answering the important questions I intend to put to him.

Commenting on the issues raised in her speech, Sheila Gilmore said:

I regularly meet sick and disabled people who are unable to work but who have been declared fit to do so following a flawed ESA assessment.

In my debate I’m going to focus on the new mandatory reconsideration process, introduced in October last year. I’m going to highlight the fact many people are left without any benefits payments during this period, the regular ten week waits for decisions, and the lack of official statistics on outcomes.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

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10 thoughts on “Sheila Gilmore – Penning is pinned: no excuses for ducking the mandatory reconsideration debate

  1. I think that final comment says it all. Surely the government don’t want disabled people to go without any benefits? Answers on a postcard to…

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  2. And so these changes now start affecting us. My wife qualified for DLA and SDA after she became epileptic 32 years ago. Recently, we received notification that the old SDA was to be replaced by ESA, but with a promise that she “would lose no benefit in the changeover” – as if I believed that!

    And so she went for the medical, and now she has ‘failed’ and her SDA will be removed while she doesn’t qualify for ESA. Right now that’s moot since I’m getting Income Support, which shall just be increased to allow for that loss BUT once I find some work or self-employed income, my wife will be worse off! So continuing the degradation of those of us who really DO wish to work – like so many others, we’d be better off just NOT working!

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